Get with "The Pro­gram"!

Climbing - - SKILLS -

Ev­ery­one wants to send, but fig­ur­ing out pre­cisely how—amidst the many train­ing ap­proaches out there—is chal­leng­ing. How­ever, what you should fo­cus on is max­i­miz­ing ef­fort—in the ap­pro­pri­ate way, rel­a­tive to where you’re at on your project. I de­vel­oped the above flow chart, with sug­ges­tions, to show you an eas­ily cus­tom­iz­a­ble path to red­point­ing your hard­est.

TRAIN YOUR CAR­DIO­VAS­CU­LAR SYS­TEM

Most climbers have plenty of car­dio ca­pac­ity. How­ever, if ap­proaches wear you out, you might need ba­sic con­di­tion­ing—walk­ing with a pack, hik­ing, or do­ing easy mul­ti­p­itch climbs. Aim for 30-plus min­utes per day, ev­ery day.

GET ON THE HANGBOARD

If you can’t hang the holds, get on a hangboard. Debating pro­to­cols is like ar­gu­ing over which veg­etable is bet­ter: Any veg­etable is a good start. Fig­ure out which holds chal­lenge you, and train those. More work per ses­sion is not bet­ter; in­stead, do more ses­sions.

WORK ON LIMIT BOUL­DER­ING

If you can hang the holds but can’t do the moves, then limit boul­der­ing is the key. Work su­per­max­i­mal prob­lems, try­ing two to three over a se­ries of ses­sions. While send­ing is OK, fo­cus on per­form­ing harder moves. Think of your­self as a mu­si­cian try­ing to learn a dif­fi­cult piece. If you can play it well dur­ing the first prac­tice, you’re not re­ally ex­pand­ing your ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

WORK ON ROUTESPECIFIC IN­TER­VALS

Now that you can do the moves, the next step is link­age. Set up cir­cuits that mimic the an- gle, style, and difficulty of your project. As you progress, keep the difficulty rel­a­tively equal to the var­i­ous sections on the proj, and whit­tle away at the rest pe­ri­ods be­tween them. Pic­ture your out­door project: First you hang on ev­ery bolt, then you link sections, and then you send. You’re slowly de­creas­ing rest­ing pe­ri­ods. Do the same with in­ter­vals.

HAR­DEN THE FUCK UP (HTFU)

If you’re freak­ing out about be­ing above your gear, stop. Let­ting fear run roughshod over you lim­its your op­tions. We’re all afraid—it’s just whether we let it ruin us or not. You have a choice. Once you care more about send­ing than com­fort, you’re set.

TRAIN YOUR CA­PAC­ITY

Many climbers are in­ca­pable of try­ing a project-level route more than once or twice a day. This is un­ac­cept­able. You have lim­ited years to climb, so max­i­mize your time. If you lack ca­pac­ity for sev­eral hard goes per day, back off for a month or two and fo­cus on send­ing more sub-limit routes per ses­sion. Sure, 5.11c doesn’t thrill like 5.12a, but if you’re go­ing to own a grade, you need a base.

A typ­i­cal ca­pac­ity day ad­dresses mileage near thresh­old. These are routes on which you try medium-hard (slightly above on­sight level). Give three to five good red­point ef­forts per day. Climb­ing just be­low your pump or anaer­o­bic thresh­old will slowly in­crease the num­ber of good goes per day on your project.

START RED­POINT­ING

No more ex­cuses—it’s time get on the proj and give it your all.

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